If it is difficult being married to a woman who has a narcissistic personality disorder, it may be even more difficult going through a divorce with her.
Psychology Today defines a “narcissistic personality” as showing a lack of empathy for other people as well as being arrogant, self-centered, manipulative, disregarding the truth and demanding. Women who suffer from the issue are certain that they deserve special treatment.
In public, narcissistic women often come across as charming and charismatic. In private – and often a main reason for the divorce – is that she lashes out when facts conflict with her view of the world and why the marriage is ending.
Try negotiating a reasonable settlement with that!
We do it successfully and, fortunately, only a small percentage of women insist that what’s yours is hers and what is hers is also hers – including children from the marriage. It also requires showing the court that the public personality that may be on display is not the real individual.
Dealing with Narcissists
Working through a divorce with a narcissistic woman is a bit like playing a game of Whack-A-Mole: Each time you think you have nailed down a significant issue over here, something else pops up over there. And even if it’s not a major issue, she will try turning it into one. But there are five things a man or father going through a divorce with a narcissist can do – and remember – to make a painful process as easy as possible under the circumstances.
Remember The Best Interests of Your Children – The court is obligated to work with you to construct an order that is in your kid’s best interests. We will work with you to create an order that emphasizes the necessity for stability in the lives of your children, and prioritize their needs. If your children are old enough to express what they want and have an opinion about their mother, they can explain inconsistencies between the mother’s public personality and private behavior in a way that a judge can understand. This will help the court put appropriate language in the final order.
Giving In To Her Won’t Help – Of course, compromise and letting go of some issues are crucial to a satisfactory resolution of obtaining a divorce from narcissistic personality disorder women. But while this is true in most situations, remember that women with a narcissistic or other personality disorders believe they are entitled to get their own way without reciprocating or giving ground on things they believe are important. In her mind, it’s your responsibility to give in to what she wants. This makes negotiating very difficult. It can be hard to remember that the best strategy is to remain calm while we support your position with evidence.
Let Go of Emotions – Stop feeling any overwhelming emotions that might well be tugging at you. A narcissist has been preparing her entire life for how to handle you in a divorce. You will be “treated” to a remarkable performance as they play the role of both the victim and a martyr. They want to make you feel that you are a horrible person. You need to block out her act. You are a good parent regardless of what she says. Block all of this out and we’ll help you fight for what you need in the divorce.
Hold to the Truth – A woman with a narcissistic personality disorder, or any other similar, borderline issue, knows how to manipulate you and undermine the people around them including members of their own family. Stay focused on the facts. Don’t allow yourself to be drawn into her emotional dishonesty or how she projects herself on the world. This will make it easier for you to fight for the things that are truly important to you in the divorce such as custody of the children and visitation rights.
Work with The Court to Craft the Decree’s Language – It is crucial that we work together to create a very clear and specific divorce decree that does not allow your ex any wiggle room to get around either the letter or the spirit of the order – or the law. They’ll likely try and we’ll help you make sure they cannot get away with their dramatics or machinations.
The moment you realize that the woman you once loved so deeply and passionately is never going to be wrong, you’ll be better able to deal with the divorce more thoughtfully and come through the process a healthier and happier person.
If you’re concerned about divorcing a woman you believe may have a narcissistic personality disorder, feel free to call me. I have been through this before with other clients and can help you map out a strategy. Give me a buzz at either 973.562.0100 in Nutley or in Montclair at 862.245.4620. Family law firm Montclair can help you begin writing the next chapter of your life’s story.